I like to blow stuff up. Mostly buildings. This isn’t something I’ve been doing for long. Just since I discovered Rubble Trouble. It’s a game about blowing stuff up. Mostly buildings. And I just can’t stop playing.
In Rubble Trouble you’ll play as part of a demolitions team, using a variety of explosives and other destructive tools to knock down massive buildings and rake in the cash. The more of a building you destroy the more money you make. Earn enough cash and unlock the next building to destroy.
At your disposal are a wide variety of fun and crazy demolition tools. Helicopters with wrecking balls attached, a cement mixer turned into a cannon, missiles that one of the workers cousins “found.” The list goes on and on. The game relies on a loose sense of physics, and much to our delight includes a certain puzzling element to challenge even the most battle hardened of demolitions experts.
While your main objective may be to reach a certain cash total, some levels will have secondary objectives that are just as important as the money. If there are buildings neighbouring your destruction efforts you’ll need to make sure that none of your debris falls their way. If some of your co-workers are still on the building, you’ll need to destroy it in a way that lowers them safely to the ground. Objectives like this, which become regular occurrences fairly early in the game, need to be met in addition to a cash goal if you want to proceed through the game.
Like many Nitrome games, the challenge ramps up fairly quickly. After introducing everything you’ll need to know in the first handful of levels, you’ll need to start using your destructive nature in increasingly more safety-conscious ways. The trick, of course, is that each level will only provide you with certain tools of destruction. On one level you may need to reach your goal using only six cannon balls. On another it may be two cannon balls and six missiles. Or an infinite amount of nitro-glycerine and only one visit from a grabber chopper. Whatever they deem fit to give you on a certain level, it never seems like it’s the best solution. Therein lies the challenge of Rubble Trouble.
It’s fun and it’s tough – incredibly tough at some points – but Rubble Trouble has a few sore spots that marred the experience a little more than they should have. While the game is clearly rooted in physics, things didn’t always fall the way we expected them to. There were times we could take out a supporting leg or other keystone element for a building and the thing wouldn’t even begin to budge.
A few other elements seemed a little off too. Steel was indestructible. While it was clearly an understandable decision to make the strategy element of the game more challenging, it came off feeling like a cheap loophole for them to skate through. If I’m launching missiles at steel support beams they should at least bend a little – that’s all I’m saying.
In terms of weapons, everything felt solid and fun with one glaring exception – the cannonball. Aiming it correctly takes a little more skill than you’d suspect, but it can be easy enough to master. The only problem is that, once mastered, the cannon ball almost always disappears from its area of destruction sooner than you think it should. It’s as if the ball is begging you to let it stay and destroy a few more bricks, but it’s mom is calling it home for supper.
Rubble Trouble is a fun little physics game with a great sense of humor and an intense level of challenge. Nitrome have proven themselves time and again with unique web games that offer an edge-of-your-seat level of difficulty. Rubble Trouble is just the latest in a series of wonderful offerings from the developer. After wrecking buildings with all manner of explosive fun, we can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves next.